The younger you are, the higher your chances of ending up financially independent because you have time on your side. Have you ever heard that it is NOT about timing the market but rather it is about time in the market? This is very true for savings and investments, start early and you will finish first.

Do you know that I knew none of the staff I write about when I started working many moons ago. I write about money because I want you to avoid the pain of having too much debt and I also want you to become financially independent. Our schools don’t teach us about money so it is up to each one of us to educate ourselves.

Key facts to remember.

Pay yourself first

When you are starting out, you are working for money but as you approach 40, your money should start working harder for you
Use debt to make you wealthier, not poorer
Money smart people can be ahead of high income people even if they earn less
Never use money to compete with anyone

Many people work hard all their lives and yet they pay everyone else except themselves. When you look at their budgets and bank statements, you see money coming in on pay day and all of it going out in the next few days. They leave nothing for themselves. So before you open any accounts, make sure you pay yourself first.

  1. Put away at least R500 monthly in a retirement annuity. Do you know that only 6% of South Africans retire comfortably? I’m sure you don’t want to rely on your children or the Government in old age.
  2. Take out life cover ASAP. The younger you are when you take life cover, the cheaper the premiums are. This is because you have a longer period to contribute and also you are healthier. You don’t want to delay in case you contract a disease e.g. HIV, diabetes, cancer or some other disease that could make your premiums very expensive and unaffordable.
  3. Are you already a parent? If so, take Fundisa for at least R200 monthly for your child’s university fees – the sooner you do this, the better.
  4. 4. Buy Government retail bonds as they pay interest that is higher than inflation. This way you would be sure to have enough money to pay for transfer costs when you buy your first home.
  5. Buy exchange traded fund shares for at least R300 monthly and use the dividends to buy furniture for cash or use the money to pay a deposit towards your first car. When it comes to furniture, cash is king.
  6. As far as possible, strive to buy a home before you buy a car.
  7. Further your studies in your chosen field so that you increase your chances of a promotion or even a better job.
  8. When you buy a home, increase your home loan repayments annually so that you can pay off your home sooner than the 20 years the banks give you. Even R100 more monthly will make a difference.
  9. Knowledge is power. Read books that will help you to create and grow wealth for yourself and your family
  10. Once you have taken care of the basics, use the remainder of your money to spoil yourself. After all, life shouldn’t be all work and no play!

Remember, it is not about how much you earn, it is about how you spend what you earn that will put you ahead. All of these and more are in the book From Debt to Riches by Phumelele Ndumo available at Exclusives and Adams bookshops for R134 a copy.

Do you have money smart ideas to share with the young? If so, please write to us so we can share your ideas with everyone.

ARE YOU AN A OR B MOTHER? SOME OF YOUR RESPONSES

A mother = buys reasonable clothes and sometimes says NO to the kids demands so she can save for their post matric education
B mother = buys all the latest expensive cell phone, iPods, ipads, and brand name clothes but does NOT save for the post matric education of her children


I am reading your book and I must say that I found it very interesting. I am not done with the book, but will I certainly want to be an A mom.


I must accept though that I am currently a B mom. I think what resulted in me being a B mom is that I always think that I want the best for my kids, since I was never fortunate to even get reasonable things from my parents. I then go overboard and becomes a B mom to try and close the gap I have with my kids. – Anonymous

This just opened my eyes, you won’t believe that just this month I’ve spend more than R3000 for clothes and its true, better save for education than spend all your money on things that don’t really matter, i guess from now on i will learn to say no. Thanks for this i hope it won’t be difficult to practice cause at time it’s not easy to say no to them, especially if your kids respect you and do all the right things, as parents we sometimes feel the need to show them that we really appreciate their behaviour. – Thandi* *not her real name

I try my best to be mother A, it’s tough sometimes and it requires a lot of discipline. – Mama

My mother was a domestic worker and a housewife. She does not fall into any category (A or B). But she was an excellent mother who took me to a typing school in Actonville where I leant typing with a manual typewriter but I could still type 60 words per minute.

My first job interview was a success because I typed 45 words per minute. LOVE YOU MOM – Ethel